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 The Message of Garabandal 












The Lightning Strike at the Pines
gh   Glenn Hudson          (Click with Edge; Right click to read aloud)
The Lightning Strike at the Pines
David Toribio
David Toribio

After a couple of years witnessing how Heaven came down to his village every afternoon, David moved for work and left Spain. When he returned, after years, it was all over. For quite some time he kept away from the flow of the pilgrims. Until one morning, some thirty years ago, "the lightning strike happened in the Pines." That day, David changed his attitude radically.

What happened? "One night there was a huge storm. A powerful crash of thunder woke me up. The house shook, and I thought to myself, 'Lightning hit somewhere in the town.'" But the fact is that, when leaving home, he found that the town had not been struck by lightning. David had a premonition: "It hit the Pines." Indeed, it had. The lightning had struck one of the pine trees, exactly the second one coming up from the Calleja: "I went to the Pines and, before reaching the top, I saw what happened. I couldn't believe it. That day I was in shock. It was an incredible miracle." At the time, there was a small image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on that tree, supported by iron plates. It had been put up by some Valencians in 1961 and had remained there even though later another image of the Virgin Mary was put up in an enclosed casing in the central Pine, where people drew near to pray. David explained: "When [lightning] hits a tree, it follows a course. The lightning has to go down to the bottom the tree until it ends in land or water. [The lightning bolt] struck one of those very long branches and went to the trunk that was like this, very big. It went down the trunk and when it reached the image, it disappeared. It turned and [jumped] to the first pine tree. The lightning broke the branches of the first pine. I was amazed. If it had continued, if it hadn't made the curve, it would have hit the Virgin, it would have completely destroyed the statue. Now the image has been taken away, although you can still see the iron plates where the steel sheet rested. But you can see how the lightning didn't continue its normal course."

For those of us who were "city kids," this anecdote may not say a whole lot. But a man like David Toribio, born and raised in the mountains, who lived the laws of nature and knew that they are immutable, understood that he was standing before a miracle, a new sign of supernaturality. The lightning bolt had diverged from its natural path to avoid damaging the statue of the Virgin Mary: "That day I was left... I cried there. Because we, who know the mountains and know how this works... Of course, it was something incredible. That day, I remembered things [that I had seen during the apparitions] and I promised Our Lady, there, on my knees, that I would change totally, because I had to! I had to!"

During the last years of his life, it was easy to find David in the Calleja at dusk, the place where he had witnessed so many events. He used to walk silently, pondering his memories. His memories became prayer, because for him, remembering all he lived in that place meant entering into dialogue with Our Blessed Mother in Heaven. If you were able to find him in those moments, he would begin to murmur quietly, "You know? Do you know what happened one day?" And you received the gift of one more piece of the precious history lived in those mountains between the Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the four village girls.

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Last Update  Jun 17, 2022